Zen and the Art of Mindful War

Browsing the NYT recently, came across an article (Matt Richtel, 04.05.19) on how, in an effort to improve performance, the US military is training some of our soldiers to practice ‘mindfulness’.

This is being sold as helping to avoid civilian casualties, and maybe reduce snafus. The Imperium finally acknowledges an updated need to mask lousy PR generated by random sanctioned slaughter.

It goes without saying, said “performance” apogees as violent murder, all other military practices being mostly adjunct supports of that instrumentality…that’s pretty old wine in new bottles. Wow!

Now, i may be an old school Zennie because i think of ‘mindfulness’ as a new age-y corporate dilettante dilution of ‘presence’ to let you feel better about yourself, no matter what, rather than some experience of layers of being. For lots of liberals (and right wingers, too), the message is clear: Yay! Stop whining! War just got better!

But somewhere along the line, whatever you call it, it’s a pretty long leap of more than faith to the promontory of imperial military action in support of, well, whacking people and things, only more selectively.

Maybe the Pentagon got it wrong, as usual. They misread mindfulness as “mindlessness”.

Of course, it is comforting to know our soldiers, out there decimating the ranks of the probably less-mindful, are doing it calmly, unperturbed in the swirl and chaos of battle, bringing a focused conclusion to whatever hairy situation they have been flung into. You know, that old “my mindfulness slaps down your mindfulness” schoolyard thang…  “and, Oh, Transformation! Now you are dead!”.

I’m sure it will be of great solace and a deep teaching to those freshly cast back upon the karmic wheel, now taught to work harder on ‘mindfulness’ and maybe yoga in their next incarnation, and btw, speaking of karmic wheels, try harder to avoid the crushing treads of US Behemoth.

As they sit on their camo zabutons and zafus, organic milspec kapok will lift their derrieres to a higher plane. After reading a couple of chapters of Be Here Now: US Army Edition. (So sorry Baba. Everything is co-optable), our warriors can contemplate the void, breathing in, breathing out, preparing for peaceful piece(s)…

An imperfect irony would be, if someone actually, accidentally, experienced satori, and they see the whole thing for the brutal sham it is and start fragging their so-called superiors instead of maligned brownish non-people occupying soon-to-be imperial properties, because, you know, balance…

A perfect irony would be a mass satori and accompanying repurposing of the entire military apparatus to benign endeavors.

One can only meditate, sans expectation…

—Dan Carey, Feral Artist